Bryant can't use campaign cash for legal bills

December 4, 2008 8:50:37 AM PST
A New Jersey appeals court panel says ex-Sen. Wayne Bryant can't use $640,000 in campaign money to help pay legal bills in his recent federal corruption trial. The once-powerful Camden County Democrat was convicted of bribery and pension fraud last month. He could receive 15 years or more when he is sentenced March 20.

The appeals court affirmed an advisory opinion issued by the state's Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Bryant's lawyer asked the ELEC whether the lawmaker could tap into the unused money to help defend himself against charges. The ELEC said in January that the senator's criminal defense costs were not an allowable use for leftover campaign donations.

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